Apple season is one of the best times of the year. For a month or so, we have every apple variety we can imagine available to us in every farmer’s market and produce section. With so much bounty in so short a time, it’s natural to want to make sure that our apples last all year long, and canning applesauce is a great way to accomplish that.
Applesauce is a marvel: we can use it in apple pie recipes, we can make apple butter with it, or we can enjoy it by itself. Applesauce’s versatility makes it the perfect choice for canning for long-term storage, so it’s essential to make sure you know how to can applesauce safely and effectively.
This article gives you the inside information on how to can applesauce. Our guide makes sure that you have a reliable applesauce canning method that works every time, and we’ve gathered the most useful tips and techniques to help you along the way.
You’ll get a step by step view of the preparation process along with an excellent applesauce recipe for canning that will keep your applesauce fresh-tasting for months on end.
The article also lets you in on some of the fantastic health advantages you get from regular applesauce consumption. We even share our favorite recipe with canned applesauce so that you can make the perfect mid-winter dessert with your stored fruit. You’ll never be hungry for applesauce again!
Preparation and Preservation – Can Applesauce at Home
There are many options for preserving your apples. Make quick pickled apples, apple pie filling, dehydrate them, and more.
While you can certainly freeze apples for later eating, too, making applesauce ensures that you don’t have to worry about how to thaw frozen apples.
You’ll have to take some time out of your day to get your applesauce prepped and in jars. If you haven’t put thought into your canning process and tested it thoroughly, you could end up with a hit-or-miss technique and will never be confident that all of your canned applesauce is unspoiled.
To make sure that your valuable time doesn’t get spent on a wasted effort, you need to have a tried-and-true method. This section examines the applesauce preparation and canning process from beginning to end.
We show you how to get your apples ready for puréeing and canning, and we let you know how much prep time you’ll need to get everything ready to go. We also give you a fantastic and tasty canning recipe that is sure to keep your food fresh all year.
Preparing Apples for Sauce
If you want your applesauce to come out of the jars tasty and fresh the first time and every time after that when home canning, it’s vital to make sure that you’re using the best apples.
Use only the freshest apples you can find, and try to use perfect and unbruised fruit to start your applesauce off right. Avoid using overripe apples that are close to spoiling.
You don’t need to use a particular variety of apple to make applesauce, but you’ll find that softer fruit will be easier to use. Consider mixing apple varieties to add real flavor depth to your applesauce. Make note of which types of apples you use so you can duplicate the delicious recipe again.
Wash the apples thoroughly to clean off any dirt and place them on a large baking pan until they are all clean. Peel the apples, core the apples using a small paring knife, and cut the fruit into slices.
Make your apple slices as thick as you want, but try to keep them under a quarter apple in size for best results when cooking them. Place the slices in a water bath in a big bowl that contains ascorbic acid, which prevents apple slices from browning before you are able to can them.
Not only can you preserve applesauce to eat it any time of year, but canning apples and other fruits and vegetables is also easy. If you’d prefer to have the crunchier texture of apples rather than the mushier version in applesauce, canned apples are your best bet. The process is similar to canning applesauce.
Now that you’ve prepared your apples for the cooking and canning process, it’s time to get started. You’ll need a boiling water canner for canning applesauce, but you can use home alternatives for water bath canning if required.
A large pot like a stock pot makes an excellent water bath canner, for example, but place a rack inside the container to keep the jars off the bottom.
To sterilize canning lids, wash the lids in hot, soapy water, and rinse and dry them. Fill the canner with water, and carefully add the empty jars without the lids or seals. Place the canner over high heat until the water boils, and turn off the heat.
Leave the jars in the boiling water until you use them. For the safest canned goods, it’s important to start with clean, sanitized jars, lids, and seals so don’t skip this step.
For this easy way of preserving apples, add the apple slices to a large saucepan. Add only enough water to keep them from sticking, and place the saucepan over medium heat. Once the apples begin to boil, reduce the burner to low heat.
Stir the apples periodically, and let them cook until tender. The total cooking time depends on the apple varieties you use and can range from five to twenty minutes. Wait until the apples are tender, and turn off the heat and let them cool for about five minutes.
If you are using an electric processor, move the cooked apples to it in batches, and purée them until smooth. If you are using a potato masher and elbow grease, mash the apples in a large bowl one portion at a time until the mixture is smooth. If you like chunky applesauce, leave the mix a bit thicker.
Pour the purée back into the saucepan. Add the sugar and the lemon juice, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium to medium-high heat. When the mixture boils, reduce heat and allow the applesauce to simmer while you fill the jars.
Use the jar lifter to pull the hot jars from the water bath, and place them on a towel. Spoon the hot applesauce into the jars, leaving ½ inch headspace at the top of each one. Use a dull utensil to stir the applesauce to remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims with a clean cloth, put the seals on the jars, and tighten the lids.
Place the jars in their canner rack, and add enough water to cover the lids by an inch. Bring the water to a boil. Your processing time varies depending on your altitude and jar size, so check the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s charts to see how long your jars need to boil (..).
Once you’ve processed the jars, remove them from the boiling water with the jar lifter, and let them cool for at least a day. The lid should be dimpled inward and won’t flex in and out when you press on it if the jar is ready for storage.
The process for preserving tomato sauce is much the same as for canning applesauce. It’s important to choose only the freshest fruit for applesauce and when following a tomato sauce recipe for canning to ensure that there is no possibility of spoilage or a funny taste in the final product.
Why Preserve Applesauce?
So, what’s the big deal about applesauce that warrants it being preserved and stored? You only have so many hours in your day, so any food that requires you to spend some of those hours working with jars and boiling water had better be worth it. What makes applesauce unique enough to justify the time you’ll spend canning it?
This section looks at that question and shows you why you should take the time to preserve applesauce. You’ll discover the many health benefits you’ll enjoy when you eat applesauce regularly. We close by sharing our favorite recipe with canned applesauce that you can use to delight your family and guests.
Healthy Meal Choice
Eating applesauce gives you a tremendous health advantage. You’ll get about one hundred calories from a serving of applesauce, but because applesauce is so filling, that small portion will keep you satisfied for a long time.
Applesauce doesn’t contain any fat, either, which makes it an excellent choice for folks watching their diets. Applesauce has more to offer, too. While applesauce and apple cider have about the same number of calories, applesauce also gives you pectin, a fiber that promotes health.
You’ll get lots of vitamin C from your daily applesauce, as well. A single serving of applesauce gives you much of your required vitamin C dose per day, and it tastes much better than a multivitamin.
Nothing beats applesauce for flavor and texture. Take advantage of applesauce’s great taste and versatility by using it as an ingredient in all sorts of meals. Applesauce adds a fresh and sweet flavor to any dessert, and you can use it to add complexity to main courses such as chicken or fish, too. Best of all, you can use it to make a pie or cake. We’ve shared our favorite recipe with canned applesauce below.
Mix the cinnamon and two tablespoons of sugar. Combine everything aside from the cinnamon and sugar mixture and applesauce. Mix the dough until thoroughly incorporated, and divide it in half.
Pat one dough half into a pie pan or baking pan to form the bottom crust. Add the applesauce, and crumble the other dough half over the applesauce. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top, and bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Refrigerate the baked cake.
We hope that you enjoyed our top tips on how to can applesauce. If you want to enjoy the fantastic sweet flavor and unique texture of applesauce all year, it’s crucial to have a time-tested preservation method. Our guide gives you the tools you need to make sure that your applesauce stays delicious in every season.
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